Spotlight on Alice Scott
2 May 2017
This week the spotlight is on Alice Scott, Advice Fellow at the UCL Centre for Access to Justice (CAJ), UCL Laws.
What is your role and what does it involve?
I am the Advice Fellow at the UCL Centre for Access to Justice (CAJ) in UCL Laws. As the CAJ Advice Fellow, I am primarily based at the new UCL Legal Advice Clinic, based in a GP surgery in Newham, one of the most deprived boroughs in the UK.
In this role, I advise patients who have been referred by their GP and members of the public on social welfare issues, including welfare benefits, housing, employment and family law.
How long have you been at UCL and what was your previous role?
I have been at UCL for six months. Previously, I was carrying out an internship with AMICUS in Texas, USA, where I was representing people facing the death penalty.
What working achievement or initiative are you most proud of?
It has been very rewarding to represent our UCL CAJ clients in the Social Security Tribunal in employment and disability benefit appeals, to ensure they are receiving the welfare benefits they are entitled to.
Many of our clients suffer from long-term physical and mental health conditions, therefore the support we provide at the hearing can really make an impact on the outcome of the appeal and the clients are always very grateful.
Tell us about a project you are working on now that is top of your to-do list.
I am currently working to ensure our clients receive the welfare benefits they are entitled to - this involves advising them on how to apply, chasing their applications by calling the Department for Work and Pensions daily, requesting reviews of decisions and ensuring they receive the correct amounts.
I also supervise UCL Laws undergraduate and postgraduate students who volunteer at the clinic. The aim is to introduce the students to some of the social justice issues we are presented with in our work and we do this by having students shadow legal advisers and conduct casework for the client. I supervise the students and provide feedback on their work. This year we have had 30 students participate in the project.
What is your favourite album, film and novel?
Album: 1989, by Taylor Swift.
Novel: Noughts and Crosses, by Malorie Blackman.
What is your favourite joke (pre-watershed)?
Any joke told by Joey Tribiani on Friends.
Who would be your dream dinner guests?
Barack and Michelle Obama.
What advice would you give your younger self?
To not get stressed if things don't happen at the time I had planned. I am a firm believer in things happening for a reason and that ultimately you are always where you are meant to be at that time.
What would it surprise people to know about you?
I'm fascinated by space and the first place I visited when I landed in Houston, Texas last summer was NASA - it was amazing!
What is your favourite place?
West Wittering Beach - we have had the best family holidays and day trips there and the sand is a welcome break from the pebbles I experienced growing up in Brighton!